The number of cities looking to install video surveillance systems to protect downtown shopping areas continues to grow. Those that have installed cameras are generally reporting lower crime rates.
City officials are getting creative in finding ways to pay for the equipment. Some are using money from the sale of property confiscated from drug dealers and other convicted felons. Others are looking to federal grants and stimulus money. In some cities, downtown merchants are funding the cameras as a way to lure shoppers back to the center city.
Sometimes, citizens take matters into their own hands. Following a parking lot beating in their city, some Missouri residents have begun a petition drive asking their elected officials to install cameras to help keep their downtown streets safe.
-- PSW staff